You are wrong about HIV in the military


Hello, I read a recent question you answered about an Air Force capt who was diagnosed with HIV. I am a current Army soldier, and I wanted to let you know that the military's policy is that you cannot initially join the military with HIV, but if you test positive for it once you are in, you are allowed to stay in. You will not be able to deploy overseas, but you can stay here in the US. You can continue your enlistment as long as you would like, until you get too sick to do your job. There used to be a prohibition on HIV+ military members, but it was repealed in.

Please see the third paragraph on this link that explains the policy

Here is the question that you answered:

HIV positive/military

Posted: Sep 12, 2003


Last week a friend of mine tested positive for HIV. He is a Captain in the airforce. I do know that people can not enter the military if they test positive, but what about members who are already in the military. I have looked at the questions you have answered, but I have found responses that are in contradiction. Was the law that Clinton signed a few years ago ever repealed? Can HIV positive people serve in the military if they test positive after their entry. I thought that maybe with Bush in office and with all the wonderful things he has done for HIV/AIDS that the Clinton law may have been repealed. If you are not sure, can you refer me to a service that would know. Also, what is the logic behind the law? How does someone who is positive pose a risk to others? Even in a combat situation, don't we use universal precautions?

As I understand current military practice, employees are tested for HIV periodically and are removed from active duty if they test positive, even if they are stationed in the US. This practice pre-dates Clinton and will probably last well past Bush 2.

I am told that the logic is that military employees are subjected to conditions in which risks of exposure to others are higher, and short-notice transfusions may be necessary.

Just as an aside, apart from talking about AIDS money for Africa, Bush 2 hasn't done anything "wonderful" about AIDS, unless he did it while I was sleeping last night. Follow the money. None has been sent yet.

Thanks -a concerned soldier


Thanks for setting the record straight. I'd consulted with someone who had recently left the military, but his information must have been out of date. I appreciate your information.